Last month, Al Ahram reports, a first-of-its-kind, children-only bookshop opened in Cairo. (Well, I assume parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents, and other lovers of children are also welcome.) The bookshop was opened by Balsam Salaheddin, the same woman who runs Al-Balsam Publishing House.
Al-Balsam Publishing is best-known for its translations, particularly of Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?, The Grouchy Ladybug, and others.
Salaheddine, mother of two, told Al Ahram:
“The Balsam Publishing House has brought out only 19 books in five years, a very modest number, but when you consider the quality you can figure out that it is a job well done.”
Salaheddine says the bookshop is filled not only with Egyptian-produced children’s books, but from others around the region.
“The only shortage we have is books coming from the countries of the Maghreb: Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. This is because of the lack of contacts, but we are working on filling this gap.”
And, for kids looking for something to do in the long summer months: “Storytelling, calligraphy and craft sessions for children will take place in the bookshop throughout the summer.”
Al Ahram wasn’t very helpful as to the location of the store, but I found a map on Al-Balsam’s facebook page. Find out more about Al-Balsam activities on their Facebook page. And visit them, here: